For a long time, experts have tried to convince us that insects are the food of the future because they require very low costs to raise and are nutritionally perfect.
One such superfood is cockroach milk, which, according to an international team of scientists led by researchers at the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India, is more nutritious than cow’s milk. But what is behind this novel and peculiar food?
Actually, the news dates from six years ago, when the studypublished in the magazine of the International Union of Crystallography ((IUCRJ), revealed that the milk of a specific cockroach, the diploptera punctata or Pacific beetle, has many nutritional benefits.
According to research, even though cockroaches don’t produce milk, this species can come close to that. Specifically, it is a substance produced by the diploptera punctatathe only known one that gives birth to live young and nourishes them with a type of “milk” that contains protein crystals.
The crystals are a kind of complete food: they have proteins, fats and sugars. If we examine the protein parts, we also find all the essential amino acids.
– Sanchari Banerjee, head of the investigation, for ‘The Independent’
In addition, the authors of the study assure that the taste of this substance is similar to traditional cow’s milk, but with even better nutritional properties.
It is estimated that a single glass of cockroach milk is extraordinarily rich in minerals such as iron, calcium and zinc, four times more nutritious than cow’s milk and capable of generating three times the energy, so it could be the food of the future .
However, those (if any) hoping to find cockroach milk readily available on supermarket shelves should probably know that its production is not that feasible, as you have to keep in mind that to produce a glass of this drink, it would be necessary to collect more than a thousand specimens of the insect.
In any case, the only solution, on which the researchers are already working, is to manufacture it in the laboratory, isolating the gene and reproducing it in microbiological tanks, as also suggested by the University of Iowa zoologist Barbara Stay, who agrees with their Indian colleagues.